The Characteristics of Genital Pimples and Its Causes

Genital pimples are skin lesions usually due to hair removal of the bikini area. However, there are other more complicated and less benign origins. Today's article will tell you more about them.
The Characteristics of Genital Pimples and Its Causes
Leonardo Biolatto

Written and verified by the doctor Leonardo Biolatto.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

The female genital area is a sensitive delicate part of the human body, and this is what pubic hair exists for. That is, it’s a feature we possess for maintaining the optimal temperature and humidity of this area. Furthermore, it also prevents the access of pathogens. Cultural propaganda constantly tells women they have to remove pubic hair for aesthetic reasons and offer them all sorts of methods to do so, such as waxing. This and other procedures often cause genital pimples.

Be it with a razor, wax, or laser, removal of the hair of the vulvar area causes irritation and alters the hair follicles. There’s always a risk of infection and inflammation, even when done properly.

Characteristics of a hair follicle

The hair follicle is an annex of the skin where the hair sprouts through a channel and out of the dermis. It reaches the body surface at a certain point and pops out.

Just before the hair comes out, this channel becomes narrower. There are many glands there that secrete fluids. For instance, there’s a sebaceous gland that’s always along the hair follicle; it has a fatty secretion that responds to hormones to a great extent.

Similarly, some glands are exclusive of some anatomical regions such as the groin, armpits, submammary fold, and the intergluteal fold. We refer to them as apocrine and they have a thick, odorous discharge.

A woman shaving.
Hair removal is the most common cause of genital pimples.

Find out whether Is it Wrong to Shave or Remove Pubic Hair?

What are genital pimples?

Small lumps appear with the hair trapped inside when there’s an obstruction in the infundibulum of the hair follicle. This happens either because it’s very narrow or because there’s a lot of fat production. It may also happen if there’s inflammation. Obviously, you’ll know they’re genital pimples if they’re in the genital area.

This condition is also known as vaginal pimples, but this name isn’t entirely correct. Many of us refer to the entire female genital area as a vagina; however, this word only describes the extensible virtual space that begins at the vaginal entrance and ends at the cervix.

This space is lined with mucosa that doesn’t contain hair follicles. Therefore, pimples cannot form there. On the other hand, intravaginal lesions are a reason for concern and you should consult a doctor immediately.

There’s a series of folds that line the entrance to the vagina (the labia majora and minora) which comprise the vulva. The genital pimples form due to an alteration of the pubic hair between the labia majora and up to the mons pubis and the groin — the upper limits of the region.

Causes of genital pimples

The formation of these pimples has multiple causes such as humidity, heat, hormones, and even stress. However, one cause stands out above the others: hair removal.
Waxing the vulvar area alters the healthy growth of pubic hair. The infundibulum of ​​the hair follicle then becomes inflamed, obstructing the hair outlet. Also, hair removal causes wounds and injuries to the skin and allows the bacteria to enter, leading to even more inflammation and chances for infection.

These kinds of pimples are also associated with contact dermatitis, an itchy allergic reaction of the skin. It happens whenever you expose it to an irritant be it a soap, a lotion, a deodorant, a pad, a tampon, a medication, and even the fabric of the underwear. Every person reacts differently to these possible causes.

You may be interested in some Tips for Shaving Your Bikini Area

Problems associated with genital pimples

A person holding a bowl of hot wax.
Great care must be taken with depilatory techniques in the pubic region, like the skin, which is more sensitive.

In general, pimples are harmless. The best way to avoid them is neither to shave nor to wax. Instead, consult a professional who can speak to you about the best options for hair removal and intimate skincare.

In any case, genital pimples are definitely annoying, and trying to remove them as you do with facial pimples on the face increases the risk of inflammation. Plus, squeezing them or trying to pop them isn’t a good idea, as this area is a lot more delicate.

Genital pimples will continue to grow if you handle them incorrectly. This is why it’s important to be able to tell them apart from other skin lesions that may be due to more serious problems, such as:

  • Molluscum contagiosum, a virus that transmits from human to human and mainly afflicts young children. When it happens in adults it’s usually likely due to a sexually transmitted infection. It manifests as small papules with a slight central depression that aren’t itchy but are definitely contagious. Furthermore, they tend to disappear on their own.
  • The human papillomavirus, a virus that generates warts in the genital area and is highly contagious. Some types are dangerous because they can progress to cervical cancer.
  • Herpes simplex, a rather annoying and painful disease that consists of a group of vesicles in the genital area that’s painful and itchy. This is a treatment-resistant sexually transmitted infection. In fact, the virus is indestructible and will come and go throughout an infected person’s life after the first episode.

Make sure they’re genital pimples

There are various diseases, such as sexually transmitted infections, that also manifest as pimples. This is why you must consult a doctor if you find what you think is a pimple in the vulvar area. Do this especially if it itches, if it’s painful, or if it has an uneven shape.

Lastly, remember that pubic hair is not unhygienic at all. On the contrary, it protects our sensitive skin and acts as a barrier to the establishment of microorganisms that would become pathogens. Therefore, think twice before falling into the harmful cultural belief that you must remove it.

It’s about time we change our idea about what feminine beauty really is: a healthy, natural beauty.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Restrepo R. Anatomía microscópica del folículo piloso. rev. asoc. colomb. dermatol. cir. dematol. [Internet]. 26 de febrero de 2019 [citado 5 de julio de 2020];18(3):123-38. Disponible en:
  • Granados, Pedro Mauricio Moreno. “Histofisiología del folículo piloso y su importancia para la medicina regenerativa.” Morfolia 9.1 (2017).
  • Ferrándiz. Dermatología clínica – 9788491132646 | Elsevier España. (n.d.). Retrieved July 5, 2020, from
  • Adauy, Arlette, et al. “Quistes vaginales.” Revista chilena de obstetricia y ginecología 71.4 (2006): 252-258.
  • Machet, L., L. Martin, and L. Vaillant. “Infecciones bacterianas cutáneas superficiales foliculares y no foliculares.” EMC-Dermatología 52.4 (2018): 1-9.
  • Velázquez Mendoza, J. Dolores, et al. “Prevalencia de infección del sitio quirúrgico en pacientes con cirugía abdominal.” Cirujano general 33.1 (2011): 32-37.
  • del Tanago, Gómez González, et al. “Infecciones bacterianas de la piel.” Panorama actual del medicamento 41.406 (2017): 723-728.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.